Tagged: ESA Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 10:26 am on May 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Downstream Gateway-Bringing Space Down to Earth", ESA   

    From European Space Agency: “Downstream Gateway-Bringing Space Down to Earth” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    15 May 2019

    1

    ESA is launching its Downstream Gateway, a ‘one-stop shop’ service for all downstream opportunities, creating links between new and emerging business sectors and the capabilities being developed in ESA programmes.

    ‘Downstream’ means all those activities based on space technology, or using a space-derived system in a space or non-space environment, that may result in an application, product or service to the benefit of the European economy or society.

    For example, ESA downstream activities have enabled data from satellites to transform businesses on Earth, from international transport to rural education. Innovative services worth over €200 million have been launched in over 500 businesses.

    While ESA has various programmes focused on downstream activities that have been operating successfully over the years in line with its space domains, such as Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications or human spaceflight, the Downstream Gateway provides a single interface to ESA, enabling new downstream communities to interact more easily with ESA as a whole.

    2
    Infrastructure and smart cities

    This new interface implements new ESA-wide functions to provide easy access to ESA expertise in applications and technical domains.

    The team behind the Downstream Gateway includes a core group of ESA business, marketing and technical experts, benefiting industry by also linking prospective new customers and investors to European companies offering readily available solutions that match new customer needs.

    Marking its launch, the Downstream Gateway has issued a Call for Ideas on ‘Space for Urban Innovation: Smart cities’ to reinforce its already established role in this sector. Becoming a ‘smart city’ is not a goal, but rather a necessity. The current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050, most of whom will live in cities.

    Smart cities use different types of ‘sensors’ to collect data to manage assets and resources efficiently. The associated technologies are aimed at making cities data-driven to meet citizens’ needs; allowing systems and services to be responsive and act on data in real time. Smart cities are, in fact, complete ecosystems devoted to creating sustainable and resilient urban areas for the benefit of society and the local and global economies.

    With this Call for Ideas, the Downstream Gateway wants not only to gather valuable input and identify promising ideas within Europe for smart city products, application and services relying on space capabilities, but also to help ESA establish the support such ideas need in order to become fully operational and commercially successful systems.

    ESA intends to collect as many ideas as possible, evaluate them and, for those ideas considered relevant and falling within the objectives of the ESA programmes, provide the opportunity of being (co-)funded and supported by ESA experts through the different phases of their projects using the available ESA contractual schemes.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 9:57 am on May 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Spotlight on the pulse of our planet", , , Climate activist Jakob Blasel: “In my view world leaders do not take the climate crisis seriously.”, , , , ESA, ESA’s Living Planet Symposium, Information from space, The Living Planet Symposium is hosting over 2000 children with their own dedicated programmes.   

    From European Space Agency: “Spotlight on the pulse of our planet” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    13 May 2019


    ESA’s Earth Explorers surpassing expectations

    1
    Milan in focus


    2:36:47

    Satellites deliver crucial information to help solve what is our biggest global problem: climate change. As well as taking the pulse of our planet, satellite data are used in a myriad of daily applications, and are also used increasingly in business. It’s no surprise then that over 4 000 people have flocked to Milan to hear the latest scientific findings on Earth’s natural processes and global change, and to learn about the wealth of new opportunities that Earth observation has to offer.

    ESA’s holds its Living Planet Symposium – the largest Earth observation conference in the world – every three years, each time drawing more participants than the last. The current edition, which has been organised with support from the Italian Space Agency, got off to a flying start this morning in the heart of Milan, Italy.

    Traditionally, the focus of this series of symposiums has been on Earth science – and while this still takes centre stage, the importance of international cooperation in developing satellite observing systems that bring the most benefits to society is also very much at the forefront of discussions.

    In addition, the landscape of Earth observation is changing. Against the backdrop of commercial Earth observation and the digital revolution, participants will be talking about how satellite data and new technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain can benefit business, industry and science, and also ESA.

    2
    Living Planet Symposium opens

    With all these topics, and more, to be presented and discussed in the days ahead, the symposium was opened by Milan’s Councillor for Urban Planning, Parks and Agriculture, Pierfrancesco Maran, who wished everyone a warm welcome from the city.

    He noted, “Cites around the world are facing the issues of climate change and pollution, but while cities are part of the problem, they can also be part of the solution through better education and innovation.”

    Participants were also welcomed by ESA’s Director General Jan Wörner. Stressing the importance of information from space to address the global challenges of climate change, energy and resources shortages, he said, “Earth observation is expanding the frontiers of knowledge – through this we understand climate change and much more.

    “From space you don’t see borders and this is the same for us – the countries of Europe are working together for a coherent approach that includes common goals and a full integration of space to bring the biggest benefits to society.”

    Deputy Director-General of the EC DG GROW, Pierre Delsaux, noted, “Climate Change is not just a European issue, it is a world-wide issue. We work to involve, sometimes convince our partners around the word that new missions can give us clear scientific assessments of the changes happening to our planet.”

    Recent demonstrations by students around the world make it clear that the young have serious concerns about the health of the planet and are pushing for action.

    3
    Climate activist Jakob Blasel

    Young climate activist, Jakob Blasel from Fridays for Future talked passionately about his worries, “Our generation is the most conscious about climate change as we will have to live with the consequences in the next decades. I’m one of the people who fears the future.

    “In my view, world leaders do not take the climate crisis seriously.”

    The young are also in the spotlight this week. For the first time, the Living Planet Symposium is hosting over 2000 children with their own dedicated programmes. There are the Open Days available for 8–12 year olds and School Labs for 13–18 year olds. Students, for example, will be taking air pollution measurements, and much more.

    With the environment very much in the news, many governments, institutes, businesses and individuals are making different choices to reduce the impact we are having on our fragile planet.

    The EC’s Deputy Director General for Research and Innovation, Patrick Child, highlighted, “The transition towards a carbon-neutral economy and a sustainable Europe by 2030 requires advancing our knowledge of the Earth system, its dynamics and its interactions with human activities.

    “There is an urgent need to develop instruments to better predict and mitigate the consequences of climate change.

    “The global challenges our society faces requires knowledge-based policy-making, building on reliable observation systems, products and services.”

    Mr Child’s words are at the heart of the symposium – as science and understanding is critical to addressing environmental issues.

    ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said, “I am thrilled to see so many people here – a true testament to the growing interest and importance of what Earth observation brings.

    “We are looking forward to hearing the latest scientific results. And, with ESA’s next ministerial council, Space19+, in November, we will also be talking about how we will take Earth observation into the future, particularly through innovation and partnerships.

    “But crucially we need the engagement of young people, the scientists of tomorrow.”

    With eyes now on Milan, the week not only promises to be a week of discovery about our changing planet, but also showcases how society at large benefits from Earth observation.

    We are changing our natural world faster than at any other time in history. Understanding the intricacies of how Earth works as a system and the impact that human activity is having on natural processes are huge environmental challenges. Satellites are vital for taking the pulse of our planet, delivering the information we need to understand and monitor our precious world, and for making decisions to safeguard our future. Earth observation data is also key to a myriad of practical applications to improve everyday life and to boost economies.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 12:11 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Storm in the Teacup quasar", , , , , ESA, , ,   

    From European Space Agency: “Storm in the Teacup quasar” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    06/05/2019

    1
    This image shows a quasar nicknamed the Teacup due to its shape. A quasar is an active galaxy that is powered by material falling into its central supermassive black hole. They are extremely luminous objects located at great distances from Earth. The Teacup is 1.1 billion light years away and was thought to be a dying quasar until recent X-ray observations shed new light on it.

    X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Cambridge/G. Lansbury et al; optical: NASA/STScI/W. Keel et al

    ESA/XMM Newton

    NASA/Chandra X-ray Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    The Teacup was discovered in 2007 as part of the Galaxy Zoo project, a citizen science project that classified galaxies using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. A powerful eruption of energy and particles from the central black hole created a bubble of material that became the Teacup’s handle, which lies around 30 000 light years from the centre.

    Observations revealed ionised atoms in the handle of the Teacup, possibly caused by strong radiation coming from the quasar in the past. This past level of radiation dwarfed the current measurements of the luminosity from the quasar. The radiation seemed to have diminished by 50 to 600 times over the last 40 000 to 100 000 years, leading to the theory that the quasar was rapidly fading.

    But new data from ESA’s XMM-Newton telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory reveal that X-rays are coming from a heavily obscured central source, which suggests that the quasar is still burning bright beneath its shroud. While the quasar has certainly dimmed over time, it is nowhere near as significant as originally thought, perhaps only fading by a factor of 25 or less over the past 100 000 years.

    The Chandra data also showed evidence for hotter gas within the central bubble, and close to the ‘cup’ which surrounds the central black hole. This suggests that a wind of material is blowing away from the black hole, creating the teacup shape.

    In the image shown here the X-ray data is coloured in blue and optical observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are shown in red and green. Another image including radio data also shows a second ‘handle’ on the other side of the ‘cup’.

    The research is described in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    Explore the XMM-Newton data from this study in ESA’s archives.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 7:49 am on May 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Swarm helps explain Earth’s magnetic jerks", , , , , ESA, Magnetic field in Earth’s core, , Researchers know of two types of movement that cause different variations in the magnetic field, The magnetic field protects us from solar storms, Those resulting from rapid hydromagnetic waves which can be detected over a few years, Those resulting from slow convection movement which can be measured on the scale of a century, Trio of Swarm satellites   

    From European Space Agency: “Swarm helps explain Earth’s magnetic jerks” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    1 May 2019

    1
    Simulation of the magnetic field in Earth’s core. Julien Aubert, IPGP/CNRS/CNRS Photothèque
    01/05/2019

    Earth’s core as modelled in the numerical geodynamo simulation as part of research into geomagnetic jerks and rapid hydromagnetic waves published as the cover story in Nature Geosciences, May 2018.

    2

    The magnetic field lines (orange) are stretched, twisted and folded by the turbulent convection producing shear of electrically conducting fluid (red and blue). Hydromagnetic waves are triggered when the shear is misaligned with field lines, and propagate along these lines to the surface of the core where they can focus and cause geomagnetic jerks.

    Our protective magnetic field is always restless, but every now and then something weird happens – it jerks. Although scientists have known about these rapid shifts for some 40 years, the reason why they occur has remained a frustrating mystery, until now.

    Since geomagnetic jerks were discovered in 1978 scientists have been trying to work out why the magnetic field suddenly and unexpectedly accelerates.

    Looking back at measurement records from the worldwide network of ground-based magnetic observatories, they found that that these jerks, which appear as sharp V-shaped features in graphs of magnetic-field changes, date back as far as 1901, and that the phenomenon occurs about every three to 12 years. Also, they are not consistent across the globe. In 1949, for example, a jerk was measured in North America, but was not detected in Europe.

    Since they occur relatively randomly and the mechanism that drives them has been poorly understood, these jerks have frustrated attempts to forecast changes in the magnetic field, even for a few years ahead.

    Forecasts are important because the magnetic field protects us from solar storms, which have the potential to disrupt power supplies, communication links and navigation systems, for example.

    Bearing in mind that ground-based magnetic observatories are built on land, information about these jerks has been incomplete as the ocean, of course, covers 70% of Earth’s surface. But thanks to ESA’s trio of Swarm satellites, which measure variations in Earth’s magnetic field from space, scientists can now study the global structure of geomagnetic jerks.

    ESA/Swarm

    3
    Tracking geomagnetic jerks

    In a paper published recently in Nature Geoscience scientists from the Paris Institute of Earth Physics and the Technical University of Denmark describe how they created a computer model for geomagnetic jerks and they have offered an explanation as to why they happen.

    Our magnetic field is generated mainly by the churning of fluid within Earth’s core. Researchers know of two types of movement that cause different variations in the magnetic field: those resulting from slow convection movement, which can be measured on the scale of a century, and those resulting from rapid hydromagnetic waves, which can be detected over a few years.

    They suspected that the latter type play a role in the jerks, but the interaction of these fast waves with slow convection, along with their mechanism of propagation and amplification, had yet to be revealed.

    Now, the researchers have been able to document the series of events that lead to jerks which, in the simulation, arise from hydromagnetic waves emitted within the core.

    4
    Earth’s Interior – 2019. Live Science.

    As molten matter rises up to reach the outer surface of the Earth’s core, it produces powerful waves along the magnetic field lines near the core. The team explained that this results in sharp changes in the flow of liquid beneath the magnetic field.

    The jerks originate in rising blobs of metal that form in the planet’s core 25 years before the corresponding jerk takes place. These current findings are part of a longer-term project in which scientists hope to predict the evolution of the geomagnetic field over the coming decades.

    5
    The force that protects our planet.

    The magnetic field and electric currents in and around Earth generate complex forces that have immeasurable impact on every day life. The field can be thought of as a huge bubble, protecting us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard Earth in solar winds.

    Magnetosphere of Earth, original bitmap from NASA. SVG rendering by Aaron Kaase

    Chris Finlay, from DTU Space, said, “Swarm has made a real contribution to our research, allowing us to make detailed comparisons, in both space and time, with physical theories on the origin of these magnetic jerks.

    “While our findings make fascinating science, there are some real-world benefits of understanding how our magnetic field changes.

    “Many modern electronic devices such as smart phones, rely on our knowledge of the magnetic field for orientation information. Being able to better forecast field changes will help with such systems.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 8:45 am on May 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ESA   

    From European Space Agency: “Asteroid detected” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    27/04/2019

    1

    Some day in the future, an asteroid might be detected heading toward our home planet. What on Earth happens next?

    This infographic shows the flow of actions that would take place between global agencies and organisations, should a risky asteroid be detected.

    Observations from around the globe, including from ESA’s Optical Ground Station, European observatories and observers – both professional and ‘back-yard’ – and, soon, from ESA’s Flyeye telescope and Test-Bed Telescopes, are fed into the US-based Minor Planet Center – the international ‘asteroid sorting hat’.

    ESA Optical Ground Station, on the premises of the Instituto Astro- física de Canarias (IAC) at the Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife

    ESA Flyeye telescope

    2
    ESA Test-Bed Telescope

    Using the data aggregated by the Minor Planet Center, ESA’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre and NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies determine the orbits of hazardous asteroids, and assess the risk they pose.

    Finally, if an asteroid is deemed to be potentially dangerous, national civil authorities, the UN and other bodies are informed, and given support and guidance from ESA, NASA and other agencies.

    Watch ‘Asteroid Impact 2028: Protecting our planet’, a dramatisation of how ESA might react if a threatening asteroid is ever discovered.

    Space safety at ESA

    Solar activity, asteroids and artificial space debris all pose threats to our planet and our use of space.

    ESA’s Space Safety activities aim to safeguard society and the critical satellites on which we depend, identifying and mitigating threats from space through projects such as the Flyeye telescopes, the Lagrange space weather mission and the Hera asteroid mission.

    As asteroid experts meet for the international Planetary Defense Conference, ESA is focusing on the threat we face from space rocks. How likely is an asteroid impact? What is ESA doing to mitigate impact risks? Follow the hashtag #PlanetaryDefense to find out more.

    Space Safety & Security at ESA: http://www.esa.int/spacesafety

    Planetary Defence: http://www.esa.int/planetarydefence

    Download the posters: http://www.esa.int/paleblue

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 12:20 pm on April 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA, ESA Clean Space project, ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands, GRALS Testbed   

    From European Space Agency: “Testing satellite marker designs” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    24/04/2019

    1

    Akin to landing lights for aircraft, ESA is developing infrared and phosphorescent markers for satellites, to help future space servicing vehicles rendezvous and dock with their targets.

    Developed by Hungarian company Admatis as part of an ESA Clean Space project, these markers would offer robotic space servicing vehicles a steady target to home in on, providing critical information on the line of sight, distance and pointing direction of their target satellite.

    Initial testing of these ‘Passive Emitting Material at end-of-life’ or PEMSUN markers took place at the end of March 2019 inside ESA’s GNC Rendezvous, Approach and Landing Simulator, part of the Agency’s Orbital Robotics and Guidance, Navigation and Control Laboratory, at its ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

    2
    GRALS Testbed. 16/05/2018

    This robotic arm, attached to a 33 m track is ESA’s GNC Rendezvous, Approach and Landing Simulator. Part of the Agency’s Orbital Robotics and Guidance, Navigation and Control Laboratory, GRALS is used to simulate close approach and capture of uncooperative orbital targets, such as drifting satellites or to rendezvous with asteroids. It can also be used to test ideas for descending to surfaces, such as a lunar or martian landing.

    The moveable arm can be equipped with cameras to test vision-based software on a practical basis to close on a scale model of its target. Image-processing algorithms recognise various features on the surface of the model satellite seen here, and uses those features to calculate the satellite’s tumble, allowing the chaser to safely come closer. Alternatively, the robotic arm can be fitted with a gripper, to test out actually securing a target, or with altimeters or other range sensors.

    The Orbital Robotics and GNC Lab is located at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands.

    ESA Estec

    “The idea itself is not new, but this is the first time we’ve manufactured and tested sample patches, cut into spacecraft multi-layer insulation covering,” comments ESA Clean Space trainee Sébastien Perrault. “For the design we’ve looked into one larger pattern incorporating smaller versions for when the space servicing vehicle comes close enough that its camera’s field of view is filled.

    4

    “These markers would be very useful during eclipse states for instance, when Earth obscures the Sun in low Earth orbit, to allow the chaser vehicle to stay fixed on its target, potentially in combination with radio tags.”

    ESA is studying space servicing vehicles to carry out a wide range of roles in orbit, from refurbishment and refuelling to mission disposal at their end of life.

    “The idea itself is not new, but this is the first time we’ve manufactured and tested sample patches, cut into spacecraft multi-layer insulation covering,” comments ESA Clean Space trainee Sébastien Perrault. “For the design we’ve looked into one larger pattern incorporating smaller versions for when the space servicing vehicle comes close enough that its camera’s field of view is filled.

    “These markers would be very useful during eclipse states for instance, when Earth obscures the Sun in low Earth orbit, to allow the chaser vehicle to stay fixed on its target, potentially in combination with radio tags.”

    ESA is studying space servicing vehicles to carry out a wide range of roles in orbit, from refurbishment and refuelling to mission disposal at their end of life.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 8:04 am on April 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ESA, ESA's proposed Hera spaceraft, , NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft 2004, US Double Asteroid Redirect Test or DART spacecraft   

    From European Space Agency: “Earth vs. asteroids: humans strike back” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    22 April 2019

    Incoming asteroids have been scarring our home planet for billions of years. This month humankind left our own mark on an asteroid for the first time: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft dropped a copper projectile at very high speed in an attempt to form a crater on asteroid Ryugu. A much bigger asteroid impact is planned for the coming decade, involving an international double-spacecraft mission.

    JAXA/Hayabusa 2 Credit: JAXA/Akihiro Ikeshita

    On 5 April, Hayabusa2 released an experiment called the ‘Small Carry-on Impactor’ or SCI for short, carrying a plastic explosive charge that shot a 2.5-kg copper projectile at the surface of the 900-m diameter Ryugu asteroid at a velocity of around 2 km per second. The objective is to uncover subsurface material to be brought back to Earth for detailed analysis.

    “We are expecting it to form a distinctive crater,” comments Patrick Michel, CNRS Director of Research of France’s Côte d’Azur Observatory, serving as co-investigator and interdisciplinary scientist on the Japanese mission. “But we don’t know for sure yet, because Hayabusa2 was moved around to the other side of Ryugu, for maximum safety.

    “The asteroid’s low gravity means it has an escape velocity of a few tens of centimetres per second, so most of the material ejected by the impact would have gone straight out to space. But at the same time it is possible that lower-velocity ejecta might have gone into orbit around Ryugu and might pose a danger to the Hayabusa2 spacecraft.

    “So the plan is to wait until this Thursday, 25 April, to go back and image the crater. We expect that very small fragments will meanwhile have their orbits disrupted by solar radiation pressure – the slow but persistent push of sunlight itself. In the meantime we’ve also been downloading images from a camera called DCAM3 that accompanied the SCI payload to see if it caught a glimpse of the crater and the early ejecta evolution.”

    According to simulations, the crater is predicted to have a roughly 2 m diameter, although the modelling of impacts in such a low-gravity environment is extremely challenging. It should appear darker than the surrounding surface, based on a February touch-and-go sampling operation when Hayabusa2’s thrusters dislodged surface dust to expose blacker material underneath.

    “For us this is an exciting first data point to compare with simulations,” adds Patrick, “but we have a much larger impact to look forward to in future, as part of the forthcoming double-spacecraft Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission.

    “In late 2022 the US Double Asteroid Redirect Test or DART spacecraft will crash into the smaller of the two Didymos asteroids.

    NASA DART Double Impact Redirection Test vehicle depiction schematic

    As with Hayabusa2’s SCI test it should form a very distinct crater and expose subsurface material in an even lower gravity environment, but its main purpose is to actually divert the orbit of the 160 m diameter ‘Didymoon’ asteroid in a measurable way.”

    The DART spacecraft will have a mass of 550 kg, and will strike Didymoon at 6 km/s. Striking an asteroid five times smaller with a spacecraft more than 200 times larger and moving three times faster should deliver sufficient impact energy to achieve the first ever asteroid deflection experiment for planetary defence.

    3
    DART mission profile. APL – Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

    A proposed ESA mission called Hera would then visit Didymos to survey the diverted asteroid, measure its mass and perform high-resolution mapping of the crater left by the DART impact.

    DLR Asteroid Framing Camera used on NASA Dawn and ESA HERA missions

    ESA’s proposed Hera spaceraft

    “The actual relation between projectile size, speed and crater size in low gravity environments is still poorly understood,” adds Patrick, also serving as Hera’s lead scientist. “Having both SCI and Hera data on crater sizes in two different impact speed regimes will offer crucial insights.

    “These scaling laws are also crucial on a practical basis, because they underpin how our calculations estimating the efficiency of asteroid deflection are made, taking account the properties of the asteroid material as well as the impact velocity involved.

    “This is why Hera is so important; not only will we have DART’s full-scale test of asteroid deflection in space, but also Hera’s detailed follow-up survey to discover Didymoon’s composition and structure. Hera will also record the precise shape of the DART crater, right down to centimetre scale.

    “So, building on this Hayabusa2 impact experiment, DART and Hera between them will go on to close the gap in asteroid deflection techniques, bringing us to a point where such a method might be used for real.”

    Didymoon will also be by far the smallest asteroid ever explored, so will offer insights into the cohesion of material in an environment whose gravity is more than a million times weaker than our own – an alien situation extremely challenging to simulate.

    In 2004, NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft launched an impactor into comet Tempel 1. The body was subsequently revisited, but the artificial crater was hard to pinpoint – largely because the comet had flown close to the Sun in the meantime, and its heating would have modified the surface.

    6
    NASA’s Deep Impact hitting a comet

    NASA Deep Impact spacecraft 2004

    Hera will visit Didymoon around four years after DART’s impact, but because it is an inactive asteroid in deep space, no such modification will occur. “The crater will still be ‘fresh’ for Hera,” Patrick concludes.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 8:01 am on April 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "EDRS-C antenna performance verification at the Airbus CATR facility in Germany", ESA   

    From European Space Agency: “EDRS-C antenna performance verification at the Airbus CATR facility in Germany” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    1

    EDRS-C is currently in the anechoic test chamber at the Compact
    Antenna Test Range at Airbus in Ottobrunn Germany, where the satellite is currently
    undergoing verification of the antennas performance before shipment to its launch site in Kourou in June.

    The European Data Relay System (EDRS) is designed to relay data between satellites in
    low orbit and Earth via satellites in geostationary orbit. It allows transmission of large quantities of data with reduced delay, using innovative laser communication technology.

    It is a new, independent European satellite system, and is a public–private partnership
    between ESA and Airbus (DE) as part of ESA’s efforts to federate industry around large-
    scale programmes, stimulating technology developments and achieving economic
    benefits.

    EDRS will form the ‘SpaceDataHighway’for Europe, made up of one hosted data-relay
    payload (EDRS-A), one data-relay payload on a dedicated satellite (EDRS-C) and a
    dedicated ground segment.

    EDRS dramatically increases the speed with which low-orbiting satellites can deliver
    their information to users, by relaying their data via the EDRS payloads in geostationary orbit to European ground stations.

    With EDRS ground stations in Redu (BE), Harwell (UK) and two in Weilheim (DE) plus
    the Italian Space Agency’s user ground station in Matera (IT), EDRS is the first truly European laser communications network.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 9:50 am on April 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Cebreros station located in Spain, , ESA, ESA's 35-metre radio antenna in Malargüe Argentina   

    From European Space Agency: “Doing up the deep dish” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    ESA Malargüe Station is a 35-metre ESTRACK radio antenna in Argentina. It is located 40 kilometres south of the town of Malargüe, Argentina

    ESA’s 35-metre radio antenna in Malargüe, Argentina, has had a major refurbishment. Extenstive modifications made will now allow the ESTRACK network to support future mission like Euclid, launching in 2022, and to transfer data at much higher rates.

    Upgrades to the ESA Malargüe station, and similar upgrades carried out in the Cebreros station located in Spain in 2017, make a big difference to deep space missions.

    The Cebreros station (Deep Space Antenna 2), is located 77 kms west of Madrid, Spain. It hosts a 35-metre antenna. It provides routine support to deep-space missions including Mars Express, Gaia, and Rosetta

    ESA Mars Express Orbiter

    ESA/GAIA satellite

    ESA/Rosetta spacecraft, European Space Agency’s legendary comet explorer Rosetta

    Currently missions like Gaia are able to send back data at a channel rate of 10Mb/s. Euclid will send back data at a rate of 149Mb/s – a similar increase in speed as we have experienced in our internet browsing in the last 10 years.

    ESA/Euclid spacecraft

    Euclid, which will orbit at the Lagrange point L2, will be fitted with the 26 GHz band radio giving it a higher bandwidth for transferring data to and from Earth, significantly increasing the scientific information returned over time.

    The refurbishment of Cebreros and Malargue stations, will allow ESA deep space antennas to receive broadband signals at 26GHz as well as the conventional X-band frequency.

    Highlights of the upgrade

    The core of the Malargüe Ground Station antenna optical system is the beamwaveguide. This is a set of mirrors that redirect the signal from the spacecraft to the antenna feeding system.

    The central mirror in the set plays a key role in the upgrade. By rotating the mirror in the centre, you can redirect the signal to different receivers with different frequencies.

    When the central mirror is rotated to the deep space position, operators will be able to simultaneously use X-band and Ka-band waves – the kind of signal sent by deep space missions like BepiColombo.

    Artistic rendition ESA/JAXA BepiColombo

    When the central mirror is rotated to the near earth position, a newly developed multiband feed system will enable simultaneous X-band and K-band communications.

    There is a placeholder position for exclusive communication at X-band using the new 80 kW high power amplifier. The 80kW amplifier is currently being developed and is expected to be deployed to ESTRACK by 2024.

    In addition, a new generation of low-maintenance cryogenic amplifiers for improved performance have been installed, as has the latest portable satellite simulator – which will be compatible with Euclid’s high data rates.

    Challenges to upgrade

    This upgrade has provided unique challenges for the teams charged with seeing it through. The mirrors must be very precisely aligned, with a maximum of 3.5 millidegrees of angular tolerance. To achieve this precision, photogrammetry was used.

    ESTRACK antennas also support a very wide range of flying missions, with a high operational load. To minimise the impact on operations, the complete refurbishment had to be completed in only five weeks.

    Teamwork is key

    The success of the upgrade relied on the dedication and expertise of each individual and their capability to work together effectively as a team.

    Coordination between more than twenty people carrying out the upgrades has been paramount – and it has been achieved by keeping the team motivation high and ensuring communication and information flowed among the five industrial partner companies who worked together on the refurbishment.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 4:47 pm on April 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA, , UK-led ESA mission ARIEL -Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey   

    From UK Space Agency- “Case study: ARIEL” 

    UK Space Agency

    From UK Space Agency

    9 April 2019

    UK-led ESA mission ARIEL -Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey

    Overview

    Thousands of exoplanets, planets orbiting stars other than our own, have now been discovered with a huge range of masses, sizes and orbits from rocky Earth-like planets to large gas giants grazing the surface of their host star. However, the essential nature of these exoplanets remains largely mysterious. There is no known, discernible pattern linking the presence, size, or orbital parameters of a planet to the nature of its parent star. Little is known about whether the chemistry of a planet is linked to its formation environment, or whether the type of host star drives the physics and chemistry of the planet’s birth, and evolution. Progress with these questions demands a large, unbiased survey of exoplanets. The proposed ARIEL mission will conduct such a survey and begin to explore the nature of exoplanet atmospheres and interiors and, through this, the key factors affecting the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

    ARIEL seeks to answer key questions:

    how diverse are exoplanets chemically?
    does chemical diversity correlate with other planetary parameters?
    how do planets and planetary systems form?
    how do planets and their atmospheres evolve over time?

    Mission facts

    1 meter telescope, carrying out spectroscopy from visible to infrared wavelengths. Satellite in orbit around Lagrange Point 2
    modular payload design jointly delivered by consortium of 15+ ESA countries + NASA tbc, under UK science and engineering leadership
    selected by ESA Science Programme Committee in March 2018
    mission launch 2028

    UK funding and roles

    Initial two year investment of £2.8M, with plans to extend support for full mission delivery, subject to further review.

    Overall mission science lead: Prof Giovanna Tinetti, UCL, Mission Principal Investigator. Leads mission level science development and heads consortium.

    Major roles for STFC RAL Space (led by ARIEL Consortium Project Manager Paul Eccleston):

    assembly and integration of overall payload module
    project management and engineering leadership of payload consortium
    development of Active Cooler System hardware (approx. £5.5M cost)

    University of Cardiff – UK Co-Principal Investigator Prof Matt Griffin, Common Optics & Calibration Source, Science ground segment preparation, Payload Scientist and payload performance simulation.

    University of Oxford – Optical and calibration ground support equipment.

    UCL-MSSL – Payload systems engineering support, mechanical ground support equipment.

    STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre – Common optics, and detector system engineering lead.

    UK benefits and impact

    Scientific mission leadership roles ensure UK academia is at forefront of exoplanet research as it evolves from discovery to characterisation.

    Strong commercial interest in synergies between ARIEL detector characterisation work and new ultra-low dark-current mid-infrared detectors led by Cardiff University.

    Opportunities for UK industry in Active Cooler System development work and payload detector technologies – developing solutions for ARIEL that can be reused in the future for other applications.

    Significant educational and outreach potential, to attract and develop the next generation of scientists and engineers – the discovery of 2000+ exoplanets in recent years is a major achievement in modern astronomy and resonates strongly with the general public.

    Current status and next steps

    Mission selected March 2018
    Consortium kick off meetings held, management structures established. Consolidation of consortium funding schemes ongoing
    Parallel industrial phase B1 studies are ongoing for spacecraft contractors
    Mid-Feb 2019 – ESA Intermediary review
    Early 2020 – Payload Systems Requirements Review
    July/August 2020 – Mission Adoption Review (MAR)
    November 2020 – ESA Science Programme Committee ARIEL Mission Adoption
    January 2023 – Payload Module Critical Design Review
    January 2025 – Active Cooler System delivery to Payload Module
    January 2027 – Payload Module Delivery to Spacecraft
    Early 2028 – Launch

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The UK Space Agency is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

    At the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space, we are responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. We lead the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefit to all citizens.

    We work to:

    co-ordinate UK civil space activity
    encourage academic research
    support the UK space industry
    raise the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
    increase understanding of space science and its practical benefits
    inspire our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
    licence the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
    promote co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

    We’re an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, made up of about 70 staff based in Swindon, London and the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

    We are responsible for:

    leading the UK civil space policy and increasing the UK contribution to European initiatives
    building a strong national space capability, including scientific and industrial centres of excellence
    co-ordinating strategic investment across industry and academia
    working to inspire and train a growing, skilled UK workforce of space technologists and scientists
    working on national and international space projects in co-operation with industry and academia
    regulating the UK civil space activities and ensuring we meet international treaty obligations

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: